Why I Won't Ban Mobile Devices From My Kids
They're part of daily life. Banning them is excessive.
You see them everywhere. At restaurants, the doctor’s office lobby and on airplanes. Anywhere you might sit and wait they come out. And people of all ages are using them.
I’m talking about mobile devices. There’s no denying that smartphones and tablets have integrated themselves into our daily lives. They’ve become commonplace among adults and now are trickling down to teens and even toddlers. In fact, tech savvy toddlers and preschoolers learn how to use a smart device before they can write their name.
I look at the past four years or so and it blows me away how much we use this technology now. Over the course of my life, I’ve grown up alongside video games and the internet becoming more prevalent. My parents purchased our first home computer when I was about 8 years old—before everyone had one at home.
I’m thankful that my parents saw the learning potential of our home computer and allowed me to use it before they were in my classroom. Now, you pretty much need basic tech skills in your personal and professional life.
As parents, we are concerned about the effects on our kids of being so technologically reliant. I’ve wrestled with screentime guilt—not just for my kids, but for myself too. While I am concerned about “too much,” I will not ban mobile devices from my children. I fully support limiting time and content, while being aware of what they are using them for, but I find banning handheld devices from birth to 12 years old to be excessive.
Instead, we encourage our children to use mobile devices for a variety of things: reading, educational games, entertaining games, movies, music and calling grandma. We don’t even have a home phone line, so if we banned smartphones from our kids they wouldn’t be able to use a phone. Not even in an emergency. That doesn’t make sense to me.
I really love the explanation of the lies we tell ourselves about screentime because they echo my thoughts so well. I want my children to learn how to use technology for fun and function. I want them to learn how to use them in moderation—just like anything else they do. We model how to responsibly handle and use our devices. They are part of our daily life, so we use them together rather than hide them.
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